The shiny floor game show is experiencing something of a resurgence in America, spurred on by the U.S. audience’s appetite for big, boisterous unscripted variety and reality competition programs. In the year ahead, two more glitzy game formats are heading to the U.S. via broadcast nets ABC and NBC, and this time they’re coming from Germany and Israel.
Tel Aviv-based Armoza Formats sold Who’s Still Standing? to NBC, which will air nine episodes of the game show this winter. NBC commissioned the format after its initial successful run as Still Standing in Israel.
The format takes the basic trivia question quiz show and adds a twist, a trap door that drops the contestant out of the studio if they answer incorrectly. “It’s very dynamic, with fast-paced questions. It is something that is appealing to the whole family; the tension that if you have the wrong answer, there’s a trap door and you disappear,” explains Avi Armoza, CEO of Armoza Formats.
He hopes that Who’s Still Standing? will open a door to more of its formats being sold to the U.S. broadcaster. “We believe that once you build a relationship, there is potential for other deals to follow,” he says.
Elsewhere, ABC will launch You Deserve It, from Germany’s Red Arrow Entertainment Group, produced by Santa Monica-based Kinetic Content, which is part of Red Arrow.
The six-episode series takes a more altruistic approach to the game show. Instead of having a contestant go through the game to claim his or her cash prize, here contestants pick out people special to them who will receive the winnings, unbeknownst to them.
The format from Dick de Rijk (Deal or No Deal) features game play in the studio, and a second location and second host that cuts live to the surprise reveal.
“[De Rijk] wanted to build an emotional rollercoaster [and] a really big emotional surprise moment,” says Red Arrow Entertainment Group’s director of international distribution Jens Richter, of the company’s development partner.
The goal was to launch You Deserve It in the U.S. first, based on De Rijk’s track record Stateside. “We believe this is network television. It’s big, surprising, it’s innovative,” says Richter.
Kinetic CEO Chris Coelen will executive produce, along with Kinetic colleagues Matilda Zoltowski and Jeff Trask, and De Rijk. The game show is currently in production, with an air date yet to be announced.
“With a lot of game shows, you play for some abstract amount of money, and if you look at it, it’s very disconnected from reality,” says Coelen. “Contestants walk out of the studio and say, ‘Oh man, I only won $150,000,’ but that’s life-changing money. [With You Deserve It], there’s a player who is doing something absolutely selflessly, playing for someone else.”